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What is Content Curation: 10 Content Curation Tools & Tips to Get Started

What is Content Curation?

According to author and non-profit social media expert Beth Kanter:

Content curation is the process of sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme.”

Think of it like panning for gold – where you have look through piles of dirt and rock, examine each little piece in an attempt to find that ‘golden nugget’.

A content curator is someone who carefully selects relevant pieces of information and transforms this into content that’s shareable. The content curator identifies the theme and provides the context that makes the content relevant. According to Clay Shirky, author and NYU Professor: “Curation comes up when search stops working. Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community.” The essential difference in content curation is that there is a human being doing the sifting, sorting, arranging and publishing.

 What is the role of Content Curation?

InformationOverload

The Internet has become a place where massive amounts of information and data are being generated every day. According to ITU, there are 2.7 billion Internet users – almost 40% of the world’s population is online. In addition, every second eight new users join the word wide web (Hubspot). Now think of each of those 2.7 billion Internet users generating pieces of content on a daily basis – you are probably thinking what I’m thinking… information overload!! Through the proliferation of the web anyone has the ability to be a content curator, however you might have heard the saying in the SEO world: “not all content is created equal”  –  this is certainly true.

ConsumerVsBrandContentScale

The Problem: Consumers have too much content. But Brands have too little content.

 


 

A content curator offers high value to anyone looking for quality content because through the overwhelming abundance of information available through the web, finding information and making sense of it requires time, patience and focus. This is where the role of brands as content curators comes in, content curation gives brands the ability to become a thought-leader in their industry/category, build their brand audience and create scale through their content marketing efforts.

“Good content is not good enough any more. You need insanely great content that’s on-strategy and incites action. And you need to deliver it in a consistent, ongoing program.”Velocity Partners, a UK based B2B Marketing Agency (check out their B2B Content Marketing Strategy Checklist)

The Process of Content Curation:

Content Curation = Content with Context

Content Curation Process

1.     Content Aggregation

Collecting of content that is relevant to your brand or the brand themes created. An RSS feed is a simple example of a content aggregation tool that pulls information from various sources.

2.     Content Selection

Sorting through the content that has been collected by analyzing and selecting the best and most relevant content that can be used according to your brand or brand themes.

3.     Content Contextualization

Showcasing the best ‘golden nuggets’ of content to your audience in a format that they can easily digest. The value is added here through the ‘contextualizing’ of the content. It is essential that your brand does this in a distinct and own-able way.

 


 

6 Content Curation Tools

There are some great content curation tools available on the web to help with the one or more steps in this Content Curation process:

BagTheWeb: Helps users curate Web content. For any topic, create a “bag” to collect, publish, and share any content from the Web.

List.ly: A Tool to help bloggers & brands curate, crowdsource, and engage readers via live embedded list content inside blog posts.

Scoop.it: Enables professionals to share important ideas with the right audiences giving them an opportunity to create and maintain a meaningful Web presence

Curata: Easily find, organize & share relevant content for your business.

Storify: Storify helps making sense of what people post on social media. Curate the most important voices and turn them into stories.

Netvibes.com: A Real-time social dashboard.

4 Content Curation Tips for Businesses

“70% of content [should be] curated, 30% branded. Why? Because the rest-of-the-world is at least 70% more interesting than your brand; and, promoting external content builds social capital, makes grateful fans of influencers.”Todd Defren

1.     Know your audience:

The content you publish needs to be relevant to your audience in order to resonate and gain traction with your audience. Knowing your audience and understanding their needs are critical for curating a collection that’s going to provide ongoing value over time.

2.     Listening is more powerful than speaking. Less is more:

Listening allows the content curator to become the most reliable filter of quality content. The more content is discarded, the more relevant the final published content is.

3.     Become a go-to source:

Consumer care more about their own problems than they care about your brand or product – your objective as a brand should be to help consumers solve their problems with the final aim of building a loyal audience. A great way to apply this is to your content curation process is to think about the different consumer need stages within buying-stage funnel and curating content that solves for each consumer need stage. Great content that is useful and meaningful will allow a brand to establish authority and become a thought leader within their category or industry.

4.     Leverage content curation to support SEO:

According to Matthew Capala, Head of Search at Profero: In the world where millions of everything is available online (blog posts, articles, books, images, videos, ect), being found is truly valuable for businesses. Effective content curation offers not only the creation of quality content at scale that can rank on targeted keywords in Google, but also an ability to build relationships with key bloggers in your space. If you reference external blog posts in your content curation lists, blog owners will get ping-backs and will likely check out your curated content. You can also reach out to notify the influencers that they they were featured on your list. Over time, those relationships can turn into social shares and backlinks to your content, which are key SEO signals. However, content curation should be a part of your bigger content strategy so make sure you start with user personas and planning to maximize your content curation marketing.

In the SEO space, Moz Top 10 can be a good example of content curation in a form of a semimonthly newsletter. We also recently featured Rosie Siman on Search Decoder, a content curator who manages The Tuesday’s Ten. Check out those great content curation examples to get you started.

Summary 

In a world where consumers are struggling with information overload and brands are struggling to capture consumer attention; getting noticed and making an impact as a brand is one of the biggest challenges brands face today. Getting and retaining the attention of consumers in a meaningful way has become as valuable as gold. The brands of the future are the ones that see the value in content curation and take advantage of this now as they establish themselves as an authoritative voice and go-to source on the web.

Check out our latest blog post on Search Decoder: Evolve or Perish: How to Succeed in the Digital World

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LishaK Bio PicLisha Klopper (@LishKapish) is a M.S. in Integrated Marketing student at NYU, concentrating in Digital Marketing. Before joining NYU she was an Account Manager at BBDO in South Africa and currently she is interning at Story Worldwide in New York as a Strategy and Planning intern. She is highly curious about the evolving world of marketing and digital advertising. Learn more about Lisha here and check out her blog about living in New York City.

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22 Responses to What is Content Curation: 10 Content Curation Tools & Tips to Get Started

  1. Ashwin July 22, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    This sure is quite an useful article. I wouldn’t really call Storify a curation tool though!

    • Lisha Klopper July 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

      Thank you Ashwin. Have you used Storify before and if so, what has your experience of it been? I find it great for pulling content from social media channels but the Storify page/output feels a bit like something in between Google+ account and Tumblr page.

  2. Keisha Stephen-Gittens July 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Great post Lisha. I especially like the suggested content curation tools and I can’t wait to experiment with each them. Are most of these free?

    • Lisha Klopper July 22, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      Thanks Keisha! Yes, some of these tools such as Storify, BagTheWeb, Scoop.It, List.ly are free and for some of them you can even sign in via your social media profile on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. For Netvibes you can sign in free as an individual and Curata is designed to be used by companies. They are definitely worth checking out! I even used ‘BagTheWeb’ to help me aggregate content for this article 🙂

  3. jacob varghese July 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I recently started using spundge.com. It can also be used for content creation. Can any of the above suggested tools work the same? p.s: I do not work for spundge, I’m just looking to see if there are other options that work the same or better.

    • Lisha Klopper July 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Hi Jacob, I have not used Spundge.com, but did check it out as mentioned it. There are definitely a lot of options out there when it comes to content curation tools, I think the best option is just to try out a couple of different ones after doing some research and just see which works best for you. Here is a really helpful article with a long list of content curation tools – Spundge is also on there: http://www.youbrandinc.com/ultimate-lists/ultimate-list-content-curation-tools-platform/

  4. Janelle Wallace July 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Great read! I plan to check out some of these resources in the near future.

    • Lisha Klopper July 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      Thank you Janelle!! Yes, definitely check it out!

  5. make 10 k dollars August 8, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    What’s up, its nice piece of writing about media print, we all be aware of media is a enormous source of information.

  6. click here August 22, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    There are very few people who batter know about curation tool but majority of people don’t know even the a.b.c of this great tool. You clearly mention that these are used for collecting information from different sources and sharing with your friends in meaningful way. Very informative post to read out.

  7. Christian Steffensen September 19, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Great read! We are constantly looking for ways to improve our web presence. Curating external sources for our purposes is really an interesting approach. Instead of spending hours rewriting and repurposing other people’s content for our own website, why not link directly and even explain why? I am sure the user will remember which website he came from, especially if you remember to make the link open in a new tab.
    I believe that contextualising is where the gold is buried. Everyone can make a collection of links. Putting it in context is the real challenge.
    Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone!

    • Matthew Capala September 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

      Thanks for the note Christian. Glad you found this topic useful. On this blog, I have found many times over that curated content most of the times outperforms other forms of content. Curation is also easier to scale. Cheers

  8. yael October 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi! I think you must add http://www.roojoom.com to this list.
    Although it is a new tool and currently in beta, it is both useful and has a great UI. A must tool for every content curator

    • Lisha Klopper November 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

      Hi Yael! Thank you for the comment! http://www.roojoom.com looks like a very interesting tool! It is easy to navigate and I like the way they have organized the categories!

  9. Bryan fleming January 27, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Great article. I think more people need to know just how much easier it is to curate other people’s stuff than to write your own.

    But I really like how you said that you still need to write a few of your own thought leadership articles from time to time.

    – Bryan

    • Matthew Capala January 27, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Thanks Bryan – the right mix is key, but a blogger should always look to maximize low-effort, high-return content, which most of the time will be great curated stuff like lists

  10. sem June 9, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I belive that content curation help me to show better content on my website

  11. Johne541 July 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Though it is true I enjoy your writing style, I don’t agree with your main point of view about this one. I do delight in your website nevertheless. keaekfgfeade

  12. Alex Bisset July 27, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    This is a very useful tip. I saw the tools listed, have you every heard of Opentopic. I personally like Opentopics software, it makes it easy for me to discovery, content curation, content publishing, content analytics, and newsletter creation to cover all your content marketing needs. Once the content is created, you can easily publish it directly to blogs, social media feeds, or newsletters.

  13. Johna952 July 28, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Thank you! begadddefbdd

    • Matthew Capala August 1, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Hello Johna – the only plugin you ever need for SEO is Yoast (WordPress) – hope it help. I also use Tynt. check it out.

  14. Klaas September 28, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    A compleet view on content curation you can find on a page by Robin Good: http://contentcuration.zeef.com al his top listings in one view.

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